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I knew I'd get hate mail and lots of vehement push-back when I wrote my column The Truth About Your Consentit's a topic I've raised privately with people in the past, and the reaction has always been the same -- anger, shock and usually a nasty response.

So I think you should go read it again -- and not because I'm trying to break my record for hate email (although it's already close in that regard.)

No, you should read it again because it's true, and in addition if we are to ever make progress in this country the people of this nation need to understand the principle in that column and accept responsibility for it.

The people in Ferguson need to accept responsibility for their consent to a police department and city government that manages to issue 3 arrest warrants per household per year, and imposes fines that amount to $130 per man, woman, child and infant.

That consent put in place an environment of distrust and hatred between the police department and citizens -- and irrespective of whether Mr. Brown was lawfully shot by an officer in the line of duty or was unlawfully killed by him, the reaction that followed was in large part if not exclusively caused by that environment.

The people in Jefferson County, Alabama need to accept responsibility for their consent to a so-called "justice system" that refused to hold to account the banksters that profited from and arranged the swap deals that were entered into in part due to bribery and led to their water bills doubling.  How do I know they consented and still do?  Do a search for "Chase Bank" locations in and around Birmingham; why is the number (much) greater than zero?

How is it that the Hospitals in California, or those in Arizona, that have bilked people out of $10,000 for a $100 test or $60,000 for two $100 vials of scorpion anti-venom are still open?  How about the hospital that charged a guy $9,000 to put a bandage on his finger?

The people didn't and don't consent?  They sure do, otherwise those institutions would be closed -- one way or another.

Or how about the cops pointing guns at peaceful protesters in Ferguson?  That's assault with a deadly weapon in virtually every jurisdiction if you or I do it.  Why do the people there and around the nation consent?  And yes, you do consent, because if you didn't then one way or another that would stop.

I am not saying, by the way, that you should burn the hospital to the ground or do harm to any particular person.  To the contrary; I fully understand that the means by which this sort of crap happens is that the persons and institutions get laws passed that make their conduct legal, either explicitly or by "wink-wink-nod-nod" willful indifference to what would otherwise be a criminal act.

That doesn't change whether or not it's right, just, and should be permitted to occur.

An alcoholic cannot stop drinking until he admits that he is an alcoholic and drinks because he voluntarily raises the glass to his lips and consumes the contents therein.  A drug abuser cannot stop abusing drugs until he admits he is an addict and that each and every "hit" he takes from the pipe, down his throat or up his arm occurs because he willingly consumes the drug.  

Likewise we will not stop being robbed and abused by the people involved in these outrages until you admit that the reason it happens is that you give your consent each and every day to every single one of those acts.

To effect a change you must first accept and admit to what is happening on an objective basis.  In this case you must accept and admit that you personally give your consent to all of those things I outlined in my article on consent and the thousands I have written over the last 7 years and more every single day of your life.

One of the arguments I've had thrown back in my face repeatedly when raising this is the old saw that goes "Well what are you saying, that I should go get my gun?"

I'm saying no such thing.  You don't see me standing out in my front yard with a gun, do you?

Yet I freely admit that I gave consent this morning to every one of the outrages I outlined and more, I gave consent yesterday, the day before, and every day back to when they first happened.  I can predict with a high degree of confidence that I will give consent tomorrow too.  I will do so because my evaluation today is that the risks and potential rewards stack up to giving consent being the logical thing to do.  That I am a law-abiding citizen weighs heavily in that evaluation, as it probably does for you as well.

But -- that doesn't change the essence of what happened this morning when I got out of bed.

I consented -- and so did you.

We will find solutions to the problems I outlined and more only when we have broad acceptance and recognition that we each, individually, give consent each and every day to every one of those outrages and more.

Open, public admission of our complicity and consent is the threshold, exactly as it is for the alcoholic.

Let me know when you're ready to stop being an alcoholic, a journey that begins only when you admit you are one and that you consent each and every day to your condition.

Until that day comes may you enjoy your drink and may the consequences of consuming that beverage be tolerable.

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It's funny how people will make excuses for their own actions and inactions, but won't admit the truth.

If you start pushing back on that your circle of friends begins to shrink -- and quite quickly at that.

But it's not because you're wrong -- it's because people are uncomfortable with reality, and you're refusing to put away the "real" card.  You're removing the Facebook patina of perfection, of hedonism, of narcissism and self-delusion.

What am I talking about?  The fact that each and every one of you reading this, along with myself, consent to all of the below list each and every day:

  • Every single act of felony assault when a cop in Ferguson points a weapon at a peaceful protester and is not immediately arrested and charged with the crime of assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Every single act of altering the timing of yellow lights to generate intentional bogus violations that cannot be evaded due to the laws of physics and, when you are entrapped by happenstance of your presence, you must pay not a legitimate fine for misbehavior but instead literally have funds extorted from you.
  • The violations of your Fourth Amendment rights on the road, in the airport and on the sidewalk in NY, Texas, Florida, Tennessee and elsewhere.
  • The refusal of our government to recognize your fundamental right to life, that is the right to self defense through the keeping and bearing of the only device known to man that is effective in that regard, everywhere and anywhere without permit, license or other constraint up until you actually commit a criminal act by misusing same.
  • The bankster fraud games in Jefferson County Alabama that are still costing people doubled (or more) water and sewer bills and will forever into the future, featuring court-proved acts of bribery.
  • The bankster fraud games on Wall Street (including selling securities they self-described internally as "vomit" to people just like you through their pension funds and elsewhere) that caused the housing bubble and subsequent collapse.  Despite literal trillions of intentionally-bogus securities being sold and millions of Americans being dispossessed of their homes and personal wealth not one bankster went to prison for any of it.
  • The bankster fraud games on Wall Street that are still going on with derivatives, high-frequency trading and more, all of which has the effect of counterfeiting the currency you carry and spend on a daily basis -- in effect committing what should be prosecuted as felony grand theft against you and counterfeiting against the nation each and every day.
  • Hospitals billing people $10,000 for a $100 test without disclosing the price before the test is given, in many cases because the patient is unconscious and thus can't give meaningful consent, then suing to collect a ridiculously bogus charge.
  • Hospitals billing a woman $60,000 for two $100 vials of scorpion anti-venom while preventing you from getting that anti-venom from anywhere else through threat of criminal penalty.
  • Being forced to buy an "insurance" product (Obamacare) that isn't actually insurance under threat of government force and confiscation of your funds (theft again.)
  • Being sold ownership in property that you never actually own as you must rent it forever from the local and state government, and despite this fraud entire industries continue to use the word "sell."
  • Having your constitutionally-guaranteed freedom to travel trampled by demands that you be "licensed" to simply move your person and personal property by the ordinary means of the day.
  • Having your 4th Amendment right to be left alone trampled by a government agency that lied directly to Congress about what they were doing, falsified the justification for same (that it "caught terrorists" when in fact it actually caught none), got caught in both lies (which is a criminal offense, incidentally) and yet nobody went to prison nor has the program been stopped and the data collected under said false pretense been purged.
  • Having 3-4% of your purchasing power stolen each and every year on a compounded basis on average -- sometimes more, some less, but never, not even once since 1980, has it not happened for as little as three consecutive months.
  • Ridiculous bloat in the public schools you fund such that half or more of the money spent, and thus a huge chunk of your property taxes (which you pay either in rent or directly if you "own") is literally stolen from you and given to people who perform no necessary service.  In other words, you willingly allow yourself to be robbed each and every year.
  • Ridiculous bloat in Universities such that your children get robbed again to the tune of 3, 4, 5 even 10x what it should cost to obtain a "post-secondary" education.
  • Injury upon injury is also heaped upon your (adult) children, in concert with the previous point, through the inability to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy, declaring by statute that this "obligation" has literally the same status as child support before the law.
  • A Federal Government structure that, in concert with the above and more, literally steals about 2/3rds of the funds that flow into it via taxes and doles them out as patronage.  In other words you have 2/3rds of any taxes you pay being not put to the use claimed but instead are stolen, and all of this is done only because the government implies the threat of using guns against you if you refuse to pay - an act that by any reasonable measure is a felony committed against every one of you.

Need I go on?  I could literally write a book on the outrages, frauds and thefts you suffer on a daily basis.  Hell, I have -- I've written close to 8,500 such examinations and instances since 2007.  Through all of this and more over the last decade you've seen your cost of living go up dramatically while the median family income has not improved at all.  Not only has the technological advancement of the last 10 years, which should have resulted in you obtaining more purchasing power been stolen the theft didn't stop there; it is in fact even greater!

We all know what the counter-argument is: I voted for someone and he or she may have even promised to change some of this, but didn't.  What am I supposed to do about it?

Ah, that's the excuse you see.  And it's probably a good one -- certainly it is in your mind, and it might even be objectively.

But that doesn't change the fact that you consented and continue to consent each and every day!

Here's the thing -- even if the alternative(s) involve either intentionally driving yourself into privation or taking illegal action you still consented.  That the alternative is distasteful enough for you to refuse to act on it, irrespective of the reason, doesn't change the fact that you have given consent to all of the above and will do so again tomorrow.  It does not change the fact that each and every morning you arise from your sleep and once again give that consent.  You did so intentionally this morning, you will do so of your own free will tomorrow, and you will continue to do so in all probability every day next week, month and year.

Do remember that in 1776 the alternatives to that very same consent -- an act of theft via taxation for the purpose of grift that was in fact less than 1/10th of what we consent to today -- were very illegal.  In fact the alternatives to that consent involved committing acts of vandalism, intentional destruction and theft of other people's property, arson and more, up to and including murder and treason.

You stand here in this place called America this morning because a bunch of people heard all the arguments you've raised about how they really should just go along with it because despite protesting via voting, writing letters to the editor, posting bills on trees and other forms of dissent they weren't getting anywhere, and the remaining alternatives that were available to them had potential (indeed, even likely) costs that were too high.  

Privation, prison, even death.

They did it anyway.

Many of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence and those who took actions subsequent to it in fact suffered privation, imprisonment or both and some of them died.

This is not advocacy for violence, by the way.

It is, however, an insistence that you, personally, each and every day, admit that you, personally, are consenting to every one of the above outrages and more because you refuse to stop them.  It is an insistence that you be honest with yourself, your children, your friends and neighbors.  It is an insistence that you not call something******of one's dignity, civil rights and finances when in fact what happened is consensual sex.  It is an insistence that you hold your head high and take credit for what you have in fact done and allowed to continue, each and every day.

Honesty is the first requirement of a civilized and rational people.

Are you ready to be honest with yourself today, or will you instead choose the worst sort of lie -- lying to yourself and those closest to you?

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Let's just list a few reasons, shall we?

  • Belief in "suppression" of "technologies" from 100mpg carburetors to "free" energy sources.  I believed in the so-called "vapor" carb and suppression of it once.  I was 13.  I tried to reproduce one (on an old lawnmower engine) and failed.  It was several years later that I took chemistry and physics and then understood why the claims were lies; specifically, the temperature of combustion and exhaust (in Kelvin) defines the maximum theoretical efficiency of any heat engine, the coefficient of drag of a vehicle can be measured, and given those two figures plus the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline the maximum possible fuel economy can be trivially computed.  Here's the problem -- this sort of thing was "reported" in various non-kooky places, none of which bothered with trivial fact-checking based on physical laws. If you think this is something new or has gone away neither is the case; I just got into it with another of those screamers on Twitter yesterday and ultimately blocked him.  If you are in this group then you are actively harming the search for real and sustainable answers; you are exactly the sort of loon that buys into the crap Obama and others spew when it comes to energy, and since behind every unit of GDP is a unit of energy you are the problem, in large part, when it comes to the challenges facing our nation.

  • Belief that making borrowing easier will make something more affordable.  By definition this is impossible; not only does all borrowing come with interest (so by definition such borrowing makes something more expensive) basic economics tells you that when money chases goods or services prices rise.  Whether the subject is cars, college or houses borrowing will never make affordability better irrespective of the terms offered.
  • Belief that the government "needs to do more" whether it be by taxing or spending that which it doesn't have.  If you believe that your federal, state or local government should "float another bond" or "tax the rich" you are a damned idiot. I have already presented the math on this -- we could literally give away enough income (from tax revenue) to replace most of our social programs and still cut all federal taxes by 30% and run a $400 billion a year surplus!  In short most of the money that goes into Washington DC is stolen instead of going where the people say it goes -- it's just stolen legally.  The same is true at the state and local levels.

  • Belief that any sort of deficit spending is ever anything other than destruction of your buying power (that is, it's a net loss) or that the issue of said "bonds" are in fact borrowing instead of said intentional and immediate destruction of your purchasing power.  If you don't understand this then you either have intentionally refused to think or you're incapable of it.  Seriously incapable -- like at the level of being unable to balance your own checkbook or make change for a $20 at the store in your head.  If you're incapable of managing your own affairs why should you have the ability to vote and if you're intentionally refusing to think why do you think you deserve anything other than being financially abused?

Let's cut the crap shall we?  What we face in this country is coming as a direct result of our own refusal to face facts and figures head-on, calling those conspiracy nuts that argue against the laws of physics what they are -- lunatics.  At the same time we refuse to call those in Congress and on Main Street that believe there is a "something for nothing" pot of gold to be found in monetary manipulation and bond issues -- that is, spending in deficit no matter how it is couched what they are -- thieves.

For exactly how long should someone continue to bang their head against the wall?  I'm perfectly fine with any sort of debate, provided we're holding that debate in a world where 2 + 2 sums to 4.  As soon as you try to claim it's 6 I walk off in disgust; at that point you're either stupidignorant or lying.

If you wish to argue that what I should write about is how to prosper in a world where theft is a standard business model and political system that is, I suppose, a valid position to take.  But there are thousands of people who write from exactly that perspective every single day and offer those opinions.  You can find them all over the Internet and on the TeeVee.  I choose not to engage on those terms because I find the base premise repugnant.

One of the privileges of being a slave to others for a couple of decades and then running a company is that I don't have to blow people in order to get by any more.  I can choose to proceed only on terms that I find agreeable, and if nobody finds my contribution to the debate worth reading then the market of ideas will decide on its own.  I'm ok with this, but it seems many of those who read my column are not and think they can goad me into participating on their terms.

In a word: Nope.

So let me restate the subject line: We deserve what we are getting from our Federal, State and Local Governments and we further deserve what we're getting from the banksters, the "high frequency" rip-off machine and all of the rest of the Ponzi crap that pervades our system of finance.  

We deserve it because we not only tolerate it we demand it in the infantile expectation that if we "go along to get along" we'll get our piece of it and "our piece" will be big enough to not care that the majority of the nation's citizens will get stomped into dust as a consequence.

Well, you're free to do that; we still have freedom of expression in the United States, at least in theory.

I simply refuse to participate on your terms.

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I'm going to be really rude this morning because frankly I've seen too much BS in the comments section and elsewhere to keep my mouth shut or be nice in response any more.

Go read this Ticker again.

Notice that it says exactly nothing about the form or type of exercise you engage in (or don't), nor does it say anything about trying to set personal records in how much you (over)pay for various forms of food, most-particularly playing the so-called "organic", "free-range" or any other sort of horsecrap game in your infantile attempt to play "more expensive is better."

I refused to approve a few comments on that article, and ones before it, which boiled down to "watch me show you how rich I am because I paid $6/dz for eggs so they'd have a magic label on the package."

Might there be some further, small and incremental benefit from that?  Maybe.  But the point here is further, small and incremental.

I argue that this sort of crap is in fact destructive to the larger issue in that by strutting around showing off your wallet size you are providing a disincentive to millions of Americans by, in effect, claiming that unless you're rich you can't afford to quit stuffing your pie hole with crap.

That's a lie, by the way and to the extent you run it in public you ought to be called on it and shunned.

Oh I'm sure I'll get hate mail for this column, but I'm used to it.  If it gets one person who thinks they have to buy $6/dz eggs in order to change their life when the $1.99/dz ones will do just as well along with the mass-produced Kraft brick cheese and mass-produced salted butter in their omelette at less than half the cost, when the alternative was a breakfast full of cereal and other garbage, then it's been worth it.

My refrigerator has mass-market eggs, butter and cheese in it for said omelette.  I can afford the $6 eggs but I refuse to pay three times the price for something that might have tiny incremental benefits when I can get 80% or more of the benefit with the $2 eggs.

You folks arguing for the "organic" nonsense, in my experience, nearly all wind up destroying the benefit you would get from that 80% by eating other trash, but still think you're doing good.  Rather than nuke some mass-produced and frozen brussel sprouts with mass-produced salted butter for lunch you instead have a "whole wheat" sandwich and suck up enough refined carbs to spike your insulin levels, utterly destroying any benefit in terms of body weight control and health you could have gotten from the eggs!  

You pat yourself on the back but obtain nothing beyond a lighter wallet and another peacock feather that you then dutifully stick in your ******* and parade around showing off.

Sorry folks, no $ale.  The simple fact of the matter is that 80% of the solution to nearly any problem can be had at reasonable cost provided you don't go ape-**** trying to play this sort of game.  Arguing that people ought to blow money most of the population does not have on trying to achieve the last 20% before expending the effort and time, at much lower cost, to get the 80% solution taken care of is not only stupid it's actively destructive.

Feel free to do that on your own time and space, but around here if you get obnoxious enough about it I'll be happy to hammer you with this:

 by genesis

 Yes, that's a 30 second Photoshop hack job.  And?

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This sort of horsecrap feel-good garbage ought to******you off.

Especially in this case because if you believe it that act of stupidity may kill you.

There's a disturbing truth that is emerging from the science of obesity. After years of study, it's becoming apparent that it's nearly impossible to permanently lose weight.


We all think we know someone in that rare group. They become the legends — the friend of a friend, the brother-in-law, the neighbour — the ones who really did it.

But if we check back after five or 10 years, there's a good chance they will have put the weight back on.

Well yeah, if they don't change what they eat.

That's because obesity is mostly about what goes down your pie hole -- not how much goes down your pie hole.

In March of 2011 I got tired of being a fat bastard.  I massed 210 lbs at that time and was uncomfortable in a 34" pair of jeans; 36s were ok.  I wore an XL T-shirt or sweatshirt and filled them "amply."  I was headed for 38s and then 40s on the jeans -- I'm sure of it.  Oh sure, maybe not for another 5 or 10 years, but that's where I was headed and I knew it.  I couldn't see my dick in the shower in the morning unless I sucked in my gut.

About nine months later I massed 150lbs -- a net 60 pound loss.  I have been between 145 and 155 since with very few excursions to either extreme.  Before writing this I stepped on the scale and it read 151.  I do not count calories.  I do run and bicycle, and did so while losing the weight, but I'm not obsessive about it.  There are weeks I don't run at all, or run about a single 5k in distance.  Then there are weeks I run pretty close to a 5k a day, or bike through an equivalent amount of time (and caloric consumption.)

When I began fewer than 10 flights of stairs would kick my ass.  Today that would be no problem at all.  A 5k run was literally impossible; I could not run for more than about a quarter of a mile at a time without having to slow down and feeling like I'd been hit by the truck.  

My personal best today on a 5k is a 7:06 pace across the race and my "normal" pace while "having fun" is right around 8 minutes/mile.  And I'm not a kid any more either -- I've got half a century on my sack of meat thus far.

I've posted this picture before.  It's real.

If you think I'm funnin' you on my ability to maintain that over this period of time here's a "selfie" from a few minutes ago:

 by tickerguy

I have on a pair of 30" waist shorts and that's a size medium T-shirt -- the same size I've worn since late 2011.  It is now June of 2014.

Oh, by the way, this isn't the first time I tried to lose the weight.  I had previously failed several times, despite really working at it from a physical activity perspective.

What changed this time around?

I changed what -- not how much -- went in the pie hole.

Specifically, I got rid of most carbohydrates and grains, including all fast carbohydrates such as sugars and breads.

Today I keep it under 100g/day, am usually under 50g, and have frequent days during which I consume zero carbohydrate.

My body and metabolism reacted to that; after a relatively modest period of time I wasn't hungry very often, and thus I ate less, with the largest component of my caloric content shifting to saturated fat. I didn't have to try to eat less, I simply wanted less.  Today I wake up and am often not hungry at all and may not have anything to eat until the middle of the morning or even later.

Then I'll make up some eggs cooked in butter with bacon or eat a steak, pork chop, chicken, ham and the like with utterly no attempt to reduce saturated fat intake at all.  What I did eliminate in the "fats" department were vegetable and hydrogenated fats, with the exception of olive oil that I do use for cooking purposes and as a salad dressing.

Look folks, you can believe what you want.  But the fact of the matter is that in my experience fast carbs are an addictive drug.  

Like most addictive drugs they make you feel good but do bad things to your body.

Like most addictive drugs there are people who "push" them, but since these addictive drugs are legal there are a lot of people manufacturing and pushing them.

Let me give you an example. I used to like chocolate bars.  I'd eat half a Snickers bar and if there was another half in a short while I'd want to eat that too.  Then there better not be any more of them in the house or they'd be gone as well.  The same with a bag of Doritos.  Sure, a "serving" is a handful of chips.  How many of you will eat those, then a while later consume the rest of the bag?  

Doesn't that sound like addictive behavior?  It sure does -- and I assert that's because it is.

Once you become fat through this addictive process you have a further problem -- not only are you habituated to these substances but in addition your insulin response mechanism is likely damaged.  If that goes far enough we call it diabetes and if not controlled it will eventually cause you to get your extremities amputated, will make you go blind, and will eventually kill you.

Once you get diabetes you go to the doctor and they start prescribing medication.  But if you keep eating carbohydrates -- that is, you keep using the drug that caused the damage in the first place -- drugs will become less and less effective because you are still doing incremental damage.

In many cases if you stop that crap your body can repair some of the damage over time.  Not all of it, to be sure, and maybe not enough of it.  But this much is certain -- if you keep doing damage the cumulative effect will continue to add up.

Our biology taunts us, by making short-term weight loss fairly easy. But the weight creeps back, usually after about a year, and it keeps coming back until the original weight is regained or worse.

That's like saying that the meth-head who has his teeth start to rot out, and who stops using it, ought to be surprised if his teeth keep rotting out if he goes back to smoking his crank-pipe!

Well, duh.

You can keep reading articles like this and nodding as you maw down on the Doritos and donuts or you can cut that crap out and do what I did.

Ultimately the problem is that it's hard to break the addiction, just like it is with all addictions.  When you begin you crave these sorts of foods and if you succumb then you will fail.  You'll then argue that it doesn't work when in fact you didn't maintain the path for long enough for the cravings to abate -- you cheated, in short, and after a period of time you'll declare failure and back to being fat you will go.

That's ok -- it's a choice, and one you're entitled to make.  It's your ass -- literally, the size of your ass.

But do remember this -- today we have a medical system that is siphoning off 20% of our economy, roughly, and is running costs at 5x what they should be.  It's a scam end-to-end, and will continue to be a scam because we refuse to put a stop to it by enforcing anti-trust law in this area just like we do and should everywhere else.  There are a million excuses, just like there are a million excuses for the baked goods section in your grocery and the box of donuts on your kitchen table.

When -- not if -- that system comes unwound you will either have resolved this problem or you will have not.  If you have you'll be fine because you won't have a diabetes problem and you won't need constant medical attention.

If not you will die.

Your choice, your consequence.

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